Forests are the predominant upland habitat found throughout the Sanctuary. As a result of natural succession from past human activities (i.e. logging, mining, and grazing), some Jug Bay areas are characterized as young forests while other areas are dominated by mature open forests. No matter the successional stage, Jug Bay forests provide a variety of nesting sites, food resources, and habitat for a wide diversity of animals.
The main threats to Jug Bay forests communities include climate change, pressure from human development and land use changes, and invasive species. Changing temperature and precipitation regimes and an increase in the concentration of atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) are some of the factors related to climate change that may be impacting forest dynamics. On the other hand, population growth and development, increases in impervious surface, the loss and alteration of natural habitat in the watershed, and increases in point source flows are also issues of concern regarding Jug Bay forests. Finally, invasive species of both plants (i.e. Japanese stiltgrass, garlic mustard, tree-of-heaven, oriental bittersweet and others) and animals (i.e. white-tailed deer and emerald ash borer) have become increasingly problematic because of their tendencies to proliferate quickly, displace native species, and alter natural habitat.
In an effort to conserve our forests and better understand their response to impacts and management actions the Sanctuary is implementing a series of efforts regarding stewardship action, research and monitoring, as well as education and outreach.